Chocolate Macaroons

Every time I make these, they are almost always for a gift. And yet, they barely make it out of the house because they are so delicious!

I could eat tons of them, and as proof of yumminess, my stepdad who “doesn’t like raw food” loves these little gems and asks for them each year.

Here’s the recipe ~ ~ ~

Ingredients

3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut (dried)
1 1/2 cups raw cacao powder (or terrfic quality cocoa powder)
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup high quality coconut oil
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp himalayan salt

Process

in a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well. Use a small ice cream scoop or small spoon to place rounded batter onto dehydrator* screens. Dehydrate at 140 degrees F for about five hours, or until crisp on outside and chewy on inside.

*By dehydrator, I mean an Ex-Calibur dehydrator, which is excellent at drying foods at low temperatures evenly. If you don’t have a dehydrator, try making these in the oven at the lowest temperature available and watch them closely so they do not burn. For the adventurous types, you can try and sun dry them. Let us know how it goes!

Linear or Fluid?

Here is a perspective from our dominate feminine and masculine, left and right brained perspectives – our view of the Cacao Ceremony we offer. Depending on how you interact with the world, you may resonate with an explanation that is more linear or fluid – or both!

Feminine & Creative

Gathering in circle we begin our dance together of learning to bridge our differences into a common ground. We weave the web of interconnection by opening Spirit Doors,  calling in & honoring elemental energies that exist in all of creation. We awaken the dormant seeds of collective wisdom that exists in all of our DNA, our Hearts, our Souls.

We become more animal-being (and less human-doing) as linear time fades into the distance. Our senses heighten…we become more aware of our bodies and how we experience ourselves and others.

Copal, Sage, Sweetgrass & Palo Santo fill the air. The Ancient Songs & Drum beats our hearts. The warmth & elegant bitterness of Mama Cacao Medicine enters our physical body – and we feel it – somehow – opening our heart.

Something is changing, shifting.

We are happy to rest as the Magical & Mystical Gong sounds envelope the room & help us in surrendering to the elemental forces in the room. We journey. We slow down. We rest. Gently coaxed back into an upright position, we gather again in Circle.

We have changed.

Become….more Whole, somehow – through this journey of our senses, our primal nature has been awakened and we breathe deeper.

Spirits renewed, we step our again into the world, ready to Serve.

Masculine & Linear

As humans we are designed to thrive when we have healthy guidelines and instructions on how to live. A child for example does best when he/she has parents who raise them with values, morals and behavioral norms.

A ceremony in affect acts as a container with clear instructions and protocols while still allowing for the creative nature of persons to experience and express. Our Cacao Ceremony reflects these values and principles. As there are so many aspects of ceremony that could be discussed, I will focus on four main components.

The four main “players” in our ceremony:  Central Altar, Cacao, Sound and Movement. Each brings its qualities rooted in indigenous wisdom and supported by modern scientific investigations.

Cacao brings to us a mixture of chemistry including Anandamide, high levels of antioxidants, Theobromine and Magnesium. What has been discovered is these natural occurring chemicals have a unique reaction on the physiology of the body. Anandamide acts a neuro-stimulant on the pleasure center of the brain. It creates a sense of natural euphoria and well- being. Magnesium in this natural sourced structure relaxes muscles, supports the heart and increases brain power. Having higher antioxidant levels per weight than red wine and pomegranates, it protects us from age-related conditions.

Gongs have been in use in rituals & ceremony for thousands of years in Asia. The Planetary Gongs are a unique twist that were first introduced by Hans Cousto in the late 70’s. A trained mathematician and musician he discovered a way to tune the frequencies of certain planets into Gongs. Depending on which type of planetary gong, a very specific frequency is created when played. What we know is – much like drumming used in shamanic practices – the gong initiates a change in our brains.

The brain operates on frequencies; our normal conscious state operates on Beta frequency (12-30 Hz). A gong induces Alpha and Theta brainwave frequencies almost immediately. Alpha waves (8-12 Hz) are present in states of relaxation such as daydreaming or use of imagination. Theta waves (4-7 Hz) are present during dream sleep or deep meditation. Sometimes, even Delta waves (.5-4 Hz), which are associated with deep sleep and other unconscious states, can be achieved.

After only a few minutes our output of brain waves change. The sounds of the gong resonate in every cell of our bodies in a powerful and effective way.

Our Cacao Ceremony handed down to us by our Ancestral Ties & Spirit has been particularly developed to be a rich experience.

Due to our training outside of our indigenous teachings, we acknowledge the value in including all the senses. Therefore, we consciously add the other “players” in our ceremony. Hearing the drums, rattles, flute and ancient songs, seeing & feeling the physical aspects on the altar, smelling the aroma of sacred plants, feeling our bodies in movement or in response to ceremony itself. These are well documented in scientific literature as part of our human experience.

Using Cacao in Ceremony

This feels like a hot topic these days – especially where we are currently based in Southern California. The word “cacao” and “ceremony” have become household words, and you are hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of these terms, and either been to one, hosts them, or can’t wait to get to one.

I read the other day on Facebook from a community member in San Diego that they were going to purge if they heard of another cacao ceremony happening. I cringed, as the last thing I want to “be or do” is follow the status quo because it’s cool, because it’s hot.

Apart from that, this community member spoke to cultural appropriation and how she felt that people hosting cacao ceremonies are appropriating a culture that “isn’t theirs”. I speak more about that here.

So, the question is- what does this ceremony mean to us? Why are we investing time & energy into hosting these gatherings? Why do we lug all of our equipment (gongs, drums, rattles, feathers, wands, herbs, crystals, cacao beans, etc) with little assistance into places that are hard to get to – and sometimes with little attendance? Why do we risk being thought of as being “cultural appropriators”?

I could go into the linear or even non-linear description of what cacao does for us, and of course, yes, claro, that’s part of it.

I could talk about the urgency for our world’s health of gathering in circles, of horizontal thinking, or even what the Kogi call “Pensar Bonito”.

I could say, well it’s about the symbology we are bringing to it, the intention of balancing the masculine and feminine in our own and the world’s natures.

I could say it’s about the Prophecies of this time period, and how we feel we  (and you) are a part of activating them, and that we are magnifying this by praying together.

I could talk about our backgrounds, both ancestral and spirit ties, that give us “permission” to host this gathering.

But the true reason we host them?

Simple: because we are being led to. We have been told time and again by spirits and guides we connect with & receive guidance from that this ceremony is something to keep showing up for, keep bringing to people, keep refining, keep loving and keep praying into.

Love,

Amuha & Ki